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Fall research awards in GEOS

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CO2 levels now higher than any time in the last 23 million years

One of the most pressing messages that climate scientists attempt to convey to the public is how today’s CO2 levels compare to those of the Geologic past. Such comparisons can provide public context for current CO2 rise, as well as important information on the response of global temperatures to rising CO2. A new study published in Geology suggests that present-day CO2 levels (412 ppmv) are now likely higher than at any time in at least the last 23 million years!

In this newly published study, a team led by Brian Schubert, Associate Professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, used the remains of dead plants to produce a new record of atmospheric CO2 that spans 23 million years of uninterrupted Earth history. Their findings relied on the nearly continuous record of terrestrial photosynthesis provided by organic matter accumulated from partially decomposed plants.

“When plants grow, the relative amount of the two stable isotopes of carbon, carbon-12 and carbon-13, changes in response to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere,” says Schubert. “One can therefore measure the relative amount of these two isotopes and calculate the CO2 concentration under which the plants grew.”

The remains of land plants can be used to calculate the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere. Photo credit: A. Hope Jahren

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Two Graduate Students win the GSA Graduate Research Grant

Please join us in congratulating two of our graduate students who recently won a GSA Graduate Research Grant for 202

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The School of Geosciences wins prestigious Field Camp Award

As our 2020 virtual field camp is kicking off today, our School has just been informed that we are this year's recip

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Durga D. Poudel, Professor of Environmental Science, received the  2017 Best Research Paper for Impact and Quality Honorable Mention Award from the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation on August 1, 2017 during the SWCS 72nd International Annual Conference, July 30-August 2, 2017 held in Monona Terrace Convention Center, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.  The award was in recognition of the impact and the quality of the following research paper:

Poudel, D.D., T. Lee, R. Srinivasan, K.C. Abbaspour, and C.Y. Jeong. 2013. Assessment of seasonal and spatial variation of surface water quality, identification of factors associated with water quality variability, and the modeling of critical nonpoint source pollution areas in an agricultural watershed, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 68(3): 155-171.


Terri Bannister, a recent UL Geology MS graduate, took first place in the student presentation competition at the annual URISA GISPro conference in Jacksonville FL on October, 24, 2017. The title of her presentation was "Using Remote Sensing and GIS to Map Change: Geohazards in the Churia Region of Nepal" and was based on her thesis research in Nepal. She received $500 and an arcGIS license free for 1yr.

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